So, I’m now at home after flying back yesterday sat in my favourite chair with Miki laying next to me so thought there’s no better time to get my final thoughts down on the past cruise,
As mentioned previously we joined the cruise via terminal 25 (the new edge terminal) and although we were onboard around 10.50am and it was quite a smooth process the whole thing could have been done a lot better in my opinion, for instance the holding areas had no segregation nor did the doors which you go through to the ship have any defined queuing system in place, instead they just call your cabin category and then it’s a free for all to get through whatever section they open of the taped off area and we just found that there were loads of people just loitering around waiting to go...
anyway as I said the end result worked ok but maybe if there had been delays in the ship clearing customs and the crowds grew in the terminal then it could potentially be a right mess,
ive been in terminals/airports before that have defined queues in place with & without chairs that result in the first to turn up are the first in the queue to get on board... this doesn’t seem to much to ask for nor would it be hard to implement, even with the current set up,
Ship first impressions -
As always we board the ship as early as we can to first get the dining arrangements sorted out along with having a quick look around, we found the ship to be in great shape and a welcome sight after our short cruise on royal (adventure of the seas), not that it was a bad cruise but just not a celebrity cruise and up to the standards we have become used too over the years,
We were advised our cabin was ready around 12.55pm,
I’ve mentioned before about our experience with the move up program but in case anyone reading this that missed it we had booked an inside on deck 9 but had our bid accepted for a balcony and was given cabin 6210 which for anyone that knows or have seen the pictures of this room it is a standard balcony cabin with a very large balcony, it had a table, 2 recliner chairs & 2 sun/lounge beds (the same as the pool beds), so we were very happy to have this, it is a 2D category cabin that says it has an obstructed views but to be honest it really wasn’t a problem for us,
Our cabin steward was great (wati) and the room was kept clean and she managed to work around our timing perfectly,
OBC Both Refundable & Non Refundable - Just wanted to mention that our OBC from our Travel agent on what we purchased before boarding was showing on our account and available to spend straight away vs the usual day 2/3 as on previous cruises,
Restaurants & Cafes -
Cafe al Bacio - we/I really enjoyed the coffees and treats available here at different times during the day/night, there’s always a good selection of treats to be had and all served by friendly crew members
Main dining room - We only ate in the main dining room 2 times over the cruise but found the time we did spend in there very good, yes it was busy and the tables are very close together but I guess we are used to that by now, we both enjoyed everything we ate there and had great waiters look after us,
Tuscan Grill - We are here 2 times and did have a couple of issues the first time with regard to the cooking degree of the tuna Julie had and also the way it was dealt with (or not as the case might be) but this was somewhat addressed later in the cruise, not quite how I think it should have been but in the true celebrity way of throwing free stuff at us instead, however on our return visit to Tuscan we found we were giving what we thought was the worst table in the restaurant when others were available, we really didn’t want to start off complaining again so just accepted it and hoped for the best, it was ok... not great but just ok!
We we might give Tuscan a miss on our next cruise but we’ll see nearer the time I gursss,
Qsine - we didn’t try this but met people onboard that said it was good, it’s just not somewhere that excited us with the show/menu etc,
Murano - We also went here 2 times and loved everything there both times, we have always enjoyed Murano’s and it’s hard to imagine not enjoying it, in our opinion it’s the best food/service on the ship, yes it is a bit fancy and you do feel you have to dress up maybe slightly more than you want to but it is consistently great all around so adds to the experience, personally I wear dark jeans and a button shirt or polo shirt and never felt out of place,
Now I will mention we did have a bit of a bad experience the first night there (night 1) but this was with a fellow diner and not anything to do with the staff or food, the mentioned diner was a woman at a table of 2 that was sitting next to another table of 2 that pretty much arrived at the same time, however the other table of 2 (twin sisters) got their bread/water served to them and during this the problem diner (lets call her sea witch for now) decided to let everyone in the restaurant know that they had actually arrived first and didn’t have there water/bread and proceeded to speak louder and louder along with pointing at the poor sisters and even saying “we are on a B2B” not quite sure what relevance that has? Maybe the Sea Witch thinks that makes you more important vs the ones that are only doing one cruise, personally I think the Sea Witch was just after something free...
hopefully the for-mentioned Sea Witch is reading this just so she knows her new name! 😂
Sushi on 5 - Now we didn’t eat in the restaurant on this cruise as to be honest I’m not a fan of sushi, there are other items I could eat there but just didn’t fancy it on this cruise so Julie picked some takeaway up at lunch times and joined me in the buffet and she really enjoyed the rolls she had, so from the limited food julie had it was great,
Lawn Club Grill - Again we ate here 2 times and had 2 different experiences, the first time was great in all aspects, great food, great service & a great evening, the 2nd night (last night) was packed vs half full the first time, so I guess this had an implication regarding the whole experience, the whole place was noisy/cold/windy & just seemed the tables were closer together, I don’t think they were just felt like it...
We definitely had a longer wait time for the food and the service just didn’t seem to be as good, our waiter was good still but again I guess the timing of the tables coming in around ours had an impact on timings,
Buffet - We are in here a fair bit and found there to be a good selection of foods available, I’m more of a buffet person vs Julie but it definitely served us well,
Room Service - we tried this 3 times (1 x breakfast/1 x lunch/1x dinner) and enjoyed what we had every time, the food that come arrived hot, delivered quickly and by a friendly smiling crew member,
Bars Etc - We found most bars ok, not quite to the standards as before but just ok, we did enjoy visiting the Elite lounge for evening drinks/snacks etc and found the service great up there with plenty of crew members ready to take your orders in the sky lounge, we did feel that when ordering free elite drinks in other bars around the ship that the bar staff wasn’t as friendly as the guys/girls in the sky lounge,
pool - We do like to spend the mornings around the pool and leave around lunchtime as it becomes unbearable 😂, we didn’t really notice a problem with bed hogs, we did see some obviously but not to the levels of before, we didn’t see and pool crew putting tickets etc on beds but as I said it didn’t seem to be an issue on this cruise,
now regarding the the new pool beds I have to say they are terrible, they look good etc but they are no way as comfortable as the previous padded ones, I guess they wanted a new sleek look for the edge and just took a bulk deal to replace all the existing beds on all the ships,
Shows - we only saw 2 and found them to be good, “Broken Strings” was very good and would recommend that one for sure,
Live Music - There seemed to be a big improvement regarding the live music offered onboard and we really enjoyed the selection of musicians/singers onboard that moved around the ship to perform at different locations,
Ports Of Call -
Grand Cayman - We stayed on the ship as we’ve been there a few times and wanted to enjoy a quiet ship day,
Cartagena - Please see post 230/231/232/233 - page 10, for info on this tour, this was a great day,
Colon - Please see post 257 - page 11, this wasn’t such a good day,
Costa Rica - Please see post 267 - page 11, another bad day!
Costa Maya - We opted for another quiet ship day,
Cozumel - We opted for another quiet ship day,
Disembarkation - Terminal 18
We opted to walk off with our luggage as we generally do, we were slightly concerned as we have seen a few horror stories on cruise critic recently affecting non US guests, but still we did our usual...
So we were advised walk off’s would start around 7.40am so we ended up leaving the cabin around 7.10am, down at Deck 5 we were directed to the walk off queue which was quite long already and I’d say the people at the front must have got there around 6.30 or earlier, still we joined the queue and I went to pick up some breakfast at albacio, luckily there wasn’t a queue as on my return to the walk off queue it was moving already so earlier than expected, we actually walked off at 7.25am, straight to passport control and in a taxi at 7.40am, we picked up the hire car (Alamo) and was on I95 at 8am, perfect 👌
There was a global entry/nexus sign as soon as we entered the passport area so you can’t really miss it if you’re looking for it, I have Global Entry but Julie hasn’t yet got the nexus card so we joined the short normal non US line which was fine and only took around 5 mins to clear,
In Summary - We had a great cruise that did have a few issues along the way but over all it was great to be on another Celebrity ship for 11 glorious nights sailing around the Caribbean,
We are booked to do the other 11 night cruise (A,B,C Islands) on Reflection around the Caribbean next January and this cruise has only made us look forward to it even more as at the end of the day there’s no such thing as a bad cruise in our book,
If there’s any info I’ve missed or if anyone has any questions please let me know, if I can help at all I will 😎👍🏼
Thanks to everyone the posted/commented/liked/thanked etc etc along the way it really was great to do this while on the cruise and if one person got something positive out of it then it was worth it 👍🏼
Until the next time 🥂😎